Vihari planned to move to Madhya Pradesh from Andhra

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By Webdesk

In a bid to revive his career in India, Hanuma Vihari will play for Madhya Pradesh in the 2023-2024 domestic season. The 29-year-old, who has played 16 Tests, will be one of two professionals in the mix, subject to a certificate of no objection from his previous employers, the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA).
Vihari will join an already strong middle order consisting of Rajat Patidar, Venkatesh Iyer and Shubham Sharma. Vihari currently captains South Zone in the Duleep Trophy and can also compete to lead Madhya Pradesh. It is clear that he was eager to play under Chandrakant Pandit, a renowned domestic cricket coach who has won the Ranji Trophy with Mumbai, Vidarbha and, most recently, with MP.

Vihari had not been part of the Indian Test squad since July last year, when they played the last Test of the five-match series in England. In his 16-match career to date, Vihari has made 839 runs at an average of 33.56 as he came in his only century against the West Indies.

In his most recent domestic season, in which he led Andhra to the knockouts, Vihari scored just 490 runs in 14 innings with three half-centuries. His last act was a courageous rearguard action where he batted left-handed – he is normally a right-hander – to protect a broken forearm. Overall, his top-notch songs are pretty formidable. He has averaged 53.41 over 113 matches which have given him 8600 runs, including 23 centuries and 45 half-centuries.

After starting his career with Hyderabad, he moved to Andhra in 2015-2016. He then briefly returned to Hyderabad ahead of the 2021-2022 season before moving again to Andhra. MP will be the third team to represent Vihari.

Madhya Pradesh was also keen on signing a left-arm fast bowler and has targeted Kulwant Khejroliya, who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders, the IPL franchise coached by Pandit.

Khejroliya, 31, has a chance to settle down in different formats after years of frustration in Delhi. Since making his debut in 2017-18, he has made just 14 first-class appearances for a modest return of 32 wickets. However, Khejroliya’s list-A songs are seriously impressive. In 29 matches he took 61 wickets at an average of 19.52. The MPCA has announced that both Vihari and Khejroliya are among the likely candidates to go through a conditioning camp before the start of the season.

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